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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                               177
of nearly 12,000 feet by Mr. Booth in 1849, in a district north
of 3ishnath, in Upper Assam, which is inhabited by a race
called Duphlas. He collected some Ferns, and especially seeds
of Ehododendrons, of which an account has been published
by Nuttall in ' Hooker's Journal of Botany/
Mr. Griffith's attention was of course mainly devoted to the
botany of the district, and in his-'Itinerary Notes' and jour-
nals we have a mass of important information regarding the
general features of the vegetation, together with a great deal
of detail which will become valuable as soon as the species
axe determined.
The climate of Bhotan seems to be very equable, and the
humidity of the winter months appears to increase to the
eastward. We do not, however, possess any records of tem-
perature or humidity, and our inferences regarding the cli-
mate are drawn from the vegetation only. The steepness with
which the mountains rise, and the influence of the elevated
mass of the Khasia to the south, make the lower mountains
which skirt the plains of Assam, between the Godada and the
Monas, drier than those nearer Sikkim, which are exposed to
the full force of the monsoon, or than those further east.
The deep narrow valleys of the great rivers carry a tropical
vegetation very far into the interior' of Bhotan, among lofty
mountains capped with almost perpetual snow. These attract
to themselves so much of the moisture of the atmosphere,
that the bottoms of the valleys arc everywhere comparatively
dry and bare of forest, which only begins at about 6000 feet of
elevation, except in ravines. The outer ranges, too (except
near Sikkim), even above this level arc only partially wooded,
the trees being arranged in clumps, among which are inter-
spersed open grassy glades, which are compared by Griffith to
those of Khasia; Oaks and Rhododendrons being extremely
abundant.
On the northern face of the range which separates the Mo-
nas valley from Assam, iPines make their appearance, the first
species being Pmus lonyifolia in the drier valleys below 6000
2a